Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan had planned to spend a few weeks apart, but they're going to get together next week, because campaign aides say Ryan "helps ease the former governor’s feeling of isolation," Politico's Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei report. Feelings of alienation amid chaos is more associated with troubled teens than Republican presidential candidates, but Romney is not known for his social skills. In fact, he's famously awkward with voters. But with Ryan, he feels at ease, possibly because Ryan was once socially awkward, too. As a teenager, Ryan was a cook at McDonald's, he told The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza, because his boss wanted to keep him away from the customers. "The manager didn’t think I had the social skills to work the counter," Ryan said. "And now I’m in Congress!"
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Maybe Ryan has the experience to connect with troubled teen in a retired executive's body. Or maybe it's Ryan's youth that makes the team work so well: He's young enough to have the computer skills to hack Romney's mainframe. It's been a cliché for a long time that Romney is a robot, but it's hard to blame the internet for making the same joke over and over when the things Romney's aides actually say play perfectly into the joke. Aides are pleased that when Romney and Ryan sat for an interview together, Romney looked more like a living human -- sorry, "much more animated," as Allen and VandeHei put it. Romney and Ryan "really like each other and they feed off of each other... There’s an energy, there’s a chemistry," campaign manager Matt Rhoades told them. And Romney picked Ryan in the first place because not only did he like Ryan, his wife Ann liked Ryan, too, and she understands humans. Well, officially, BuzzFeed's McKay Coppins reports, Romney "has long trusted his wife's 'people instincts.'"